Steamboat might not have the celeb status of Aspen (and that’s the way we like it), but occasionally we do see stars. Case in point: last summer none other than Justin Timberlake visited town for the wedding of a friend of girlfriend Jessica Biel. The reception took place at the top of the gondola — where everyone, including Timberlake, cut a rug — and later progressed to The Tugboat Grill & Pub. “The bar was packed, and Justin and Jessica were very much together,” a server told celeb watchdog site www.radaronline.com. “They were being very low key. ... Jessica told me they both loved Steamboat Springs and (said) how nice it was to be treated as a normal person.”
Bummer of a Bet
Think Brian Urlacher was bummed after the Denver Broncos beat the Chicago Bears in overtime this winter? His locker room lament was nothing compared to what Steamboat local and Bears fan Benny Tollar had to suffer. Losing one of the most consequential bets of his life, the ice rink’s hockey program director had to wear a Broncos jersey the entire week afterward and dye his hair Broncos orange.
Tebowing in the Boat
With the Broncos bowing out in the playoffs, Tebow-mania finally has subsided. But it still can be found in Steamboat in the unlikeliest of places. The recipients of our unofficial TeBoat Awards? Bennett Gamber, for his dropped-knee Tebow pose after Nordic jumping (runner-up: Bode Flanigan); and Alison Sabat’s fourth-grade gym class at Strawberry Park Elementary School for its games of Tebow Tag this winter (get tagged and you have to strike the pose).
Vocal Chord Kudos
Known throughout the sports broadcasting industry as the “Golden Throat,” Steamboat’s own Verne Lundquist recently received the National Football Foundation’s Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award. He serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS’s coverage of college football and basketball as well as the Masters, PGA Championship and other PGA Tour events.
At Least You Don’t Need Them Kayaking
Performers tell one another to break a leg for good luck. Telemark skiing instructor Barry Smith didn’t need any such well-wishes in January when he broke his tib/fib slipping on some ice on his way to work. But docs said he should be up and at ’em again by late March — just in time for teaching kayaking again — and he’ll go into the river-running season with two extra months’ worth of ukulele practice under his belt.
Christmas time is party season in Routt County, and this year our award for town’s best party goes to Prudential Steamboat Realty, whose annual revolving states theme had revelers going office to office for different grub and suds from costumed hosts. Some of our favorites: horse racing and bourbon served by jockeys from Kentucky; gangsters serving pizzas from New York; leis, mai tais and grass skirts in the Hawaiian headquarters; Lone Star beers and barbecue from Texas; Colorado Coors; Hershey’s and chocolate martinis from Pennsylvania; Alaskan amber and salmon from the 49th state; Mardi Gras mayhem from Louisiana; and wine and cheese from California. Then came the wacko State of Mind nurses serving Jell-O shots and candy under disco balls, their neighbors from the State of Denial, and a Utah broker with multiple female assistants.